Relentless Minds is a podcast, produced in the United States, which has recently released several interviews with survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi that occurred in Rwanda in 1994.
The following episodes address the unspeakable tragedies that these survivors experienced along with their own personal message to the world. Their messages highlight the human spirit and its ability to overcome tragedy:
Jacqueline Murekatete – Jacqueline was 9 years old when the genocide occurred. She had 6 siblings (the youngest being 2 months old) and a father and mother, all of whom were killed during the genocide. She was never able to find her family’s remains to bury them since she was visiting her grandma when the genocide began. She was able to travel to the US at 10 through adoption by her uncle and a few years later began to travel and speak about genocide prevention alongside with David Gewirtzman, a survivor of the Holocaust. She is now an attorney, a human rights activist and the founder of Genocide Survivors Foundation. We speak about the events leading up to the genocide, failure to intervene by the global community, and a strong message of changing society’s desensitization towards expressions of discrimination and racism. Link: https://youtu.be/eICgJHFeHSs
Liliane Pari Umuhoza – Liliane was only 2 years old when the genocide against the Tutsis happened in Rwanda. She grew up facing the consequences of that atrocity in every aspect of her life due to the mental and emotional damage it created in the survivors of her community. Being able to access psychological support during her adolescence helped her greatly to process her emotions and thoughts. This inspired her to work towards making resources and help available to other survivors who also deal with their own emotional pain and mental trauma. In 2017 Liliane founded the Women Genocide Survivor’s Retreat which serves to provide psychological support to women by giving them time and space for self-expression. With the guidance of counselors they help each other heal. They are also trained for Income Generating Activities for financial sustainability. She has hosted 2 retreats in Rwanda to date (one in 2017, and one in 2018). Liliane openly discusses her personal journey of healing her trauma, as well as bringing awareness to mental health in difficult times, and the importance of being there for one another. Liliane is also a Trustee of Survivors Fund (SURF). Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3nBkRO_JHU
Jeanne Celestine Lakin – Jeanne is the founder of One Million Orphans, a non-profit with the mission to help orphans around the world to receive resources they lack, and a shot at a better future. She is also the author of the book “A Voice in the Darkness: Memoir of a Rwandan Genocide Survivor.” Jeanne’s story of survival and resilience is a unique one because when the genocide of the tutsis ended in July of 1994, her struggles and abuse did not. Jeanne was 9 years when the genocide in Rwanda occurred and for the following 9 years she would endure betrayal and abuse at the hands of those she came to trust. From enduring rape at the age of 9 from a much older hutu man who was guilty of murdering tutsis and held her captive, to seeing her parents and 3 week old baby brother murdered, and then falling into the foster care system where she continued to experience abuse. In this interview we discuss her journey to escaping to a better future and the drive that kept her going. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr_w1DNN33w
Consolee Nishimwe – Consolee was 14 years old during the genocide and contracted HIV after being raped and tortured by a neighbor and murderer. She lost her father and her 3 younger brothers aged 9, 7 and 16 months old, but was thankfully able to survive with her mother and sister. They provided each other with love and support after the genocide. Today, Consolee is a committed speaker on the genocide, a defender of women rights and an advocate for other genocide survivors. She shares the powerful message of sharing one’s story in order to find community and healing. Link: https://youtu.be/9QZY45Zkr1I
Placide Magambo – Placide was 17 at the time of the genocide and was forced to split from his family of 7; his parents, 3 sisters and 1 brother; and he fled from town to town narrowly escaping death at every encounter. After the genocide he worked to become a journalist, first in Rwanda and then in the US. Since then he has sought to help his community through the power of journalism and is set to graduate from Georgetown University in DC in 2020. Link: https://youtu.be/8KqC1hRG4_s
The Relentless Minds podcast was created in 2019 in an effort to inspire people to fight for the change they desire to see in their lives and in the world. Through this platform the aim is to spread awareness of social and global issues, create a sense of community, and move people into action, with the ultimate goal to inspire a united movement for change all around the world.